She’s Got Legs
If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “Your calves are huge”, “Monster claves”, “thunder thighs”, “quadzilla”, or “Wow your quads/thighs are pretty big for your frame,” I’d be laying in a hammock, counting my dollars, on my very own island. It’s no secret that I have naturally big, muscular legs (thanks Dad) and at 5’3, they definitely stand out. Ever since I was a kid, my legs had a mind of their own. When I started practicing yoga and lifting weights, my calves and quads actually got bigger. Initially, I was so mad because I was surrounded by long, lean-limbed bodies and I made an image in my head of what a “fit body” should look like—to be long and lean.
Almost 5 years later, my shoulders are broader, in addition to my growing calves and thighs. My thighs still touch when standing tall: I expected to have “the gap” in between my thighs. Ha! It’s hilarious looking back on my initial expectations now because everything that I expected to happen to my body with my new adopted physical regimens went in the complete opposite direction. Go figure.
Comparing yourself to others
Ever since I can remember, I was constantly compared to others and that led to me constantly compare myself to others in my adolescence and early 20s. When honestly, there is no comparison. I am me, they are them, so why the hell am I doing this whole crazy dance in my head? It was because of being compared to others as a child (vicious cycle). Why do people compare? Probably because they were also compared to others as a child. Now that we know the root of the problem, let’s fix it.
Comparison of an idea of what you should be or comparing yourself to another person is a toxic cycle for your spirit. Long, lean limbs are not genetically made for everyone. My dream of being a pixie because of my height was just not in the cards for me and I’ve come to the conclusion that I wouldn’t have it any other way. My legs can squat like no one’s business, get into full lotus (which I told myself for years was impossible because of my legs), assist my base in backbends, and hold high crescent lunge like a champ. This is my yoga body.
The image of the yoga body is moving to a more realistic format thanks to trail blazers like Kathryn Budig, Kino MacGregor and Irene Pappas (some of my favorite teachers). They are all phenomenal, well-acclaimed teachers and their practice is beautiful. These ladies aren’t pixies by any means—they are muscular, they are not tall, and they are physically strong. For someone like me, this evolving public image is a breath of fresh air.
Speak words of affirmation
No matter your size, frame, or features, your body is your temple. Love it, own it, and embrace your body and other individuals’ body types. Don’t be one of those skinny bashers or not so skinny bashers, that’s not uplifting for yourself and it goes back to comparisons. Speak words of affirmation to yourself and say words of kindness to others. Be the change and start a positive revolution in your community. Your body is your temple and you’ll need your body for awhile, so start embracing who you are and let the comparisons go. Love for yourself helps you love everyone else with whom you interact.